WILLINGBORO Music and dance performances, a candle-lighting ceremony, and traditional African drummers will help celebrate the first day of Kwanzaa at an event scheduled for Thursday night.

The Afro-One Dance, Drama and Drum Theatre group will host the 40th anniversary celebration beginning 6:30 p.m. at the Ellis Hall Community Center at the Church of the Good Shepherd, 110 Buckingham Dr. Students from the Afro-One school and touring company will perform.

Kwanzaa's first night is dedicated to the principle of Umoja, or unity. After the various performances, a feast is planned, Afro-One said in a news release. Food from the feast will be shared with a local homeless shelter.

Tickets to the event can be purchased at the door; adult tickets are $12, with a $3 discount for students under the age of 18. - Inquirer staff